News Flash: China is Building Islands in the Middle of the Ocean

Thank you to IVN for publishing me.

Immigration. Same-sex marriage. Health care. Gun control. Welfare.Taxation.

I could go on, but I don’t think I need to. The list of political hot potatoes dividing the nation are all too familiar to anyone paying attention to American politics. Looking over the list, and the activities the political parties have taken in regard to them, it seems easy to conclude one thing: The only thing the parties can come together on is an agreement to leave moderation and cooperation on the curb.

There is, however, an issue that the parties might actually be able to come together over: China and its insistence on building brand new islands. Both major U.S. political parties have staked out policy positions that put them firmly in the same camp when it comes to Chinese actions in the South China Sea. The question is, will they take advantage of that to bridge the divide between the halves of Congress.

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Education And The Disabled Veteran

Thank you to the Military Guide for publishing me.

When I left the military owing to disability I found myself in a bit of a fix. Though I had my army training and skills, and years of experience with them, I was distinctly lacking in the things that the civilian world could recognize. Sure, I’d been an NCO with demonstrated leadership skills under fire. But I didn’t have a degree, and without that, I wasn’t getting interviews.

I already wrote about what I could have done while still in the military to avoid that situation, so I don’t need to repeat the story here. Instead I’m simply going to state that, being in that situation, I bit the bullet and did what I had to do. I grabbed my ruck, filled it with textbooks, and began sitting in classrooms full of 19 and 20 year olds to obtain the degree that I needed.

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The Classroom in a Virtual World

Thank you to Degree Diary for publishing me.

There’s a growing trend towards online education these days. Numerous universities have moved into offering specific degrees through the online sphere, such as Norwich University’s MBA, or the Geographic Information Systems degree from the University of Southern California. Other universities have even gone so far as to launch entire online programs, like Rutgers and Ohio University. Even children’s education has been getting in on the act, with an estimated 53% of all public high school students enrolled in distance education courses in 2010.

Given this, I thought we’d take a quick look at virtual worlds as classrooms. I’ve had a little experience with this, having attended classes that were conducted in Second Life, and I’ve researched purpose-built educational platforms that use the virtual world concept as the setting for education, like the Radix Endeavor. This rundown will specifically be for anyone engaged in using virtual worlds for education, either as a student in one of these classes, or as an instructor at any level from Kindergarten to post-doctorate.

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Mathematics Of The Antonine Wall

Thank you to Bread & Circuses for publishing me.

The Antonine Wall is the northernmost boundary of the Roman Empire. An exercise in military engineering nearly 2,000km from Rome, it was designed and built explicitly as an example of the might of Emperor Antoninus Pius. Though half the length of Hadrian’s Wall, its southern ancestor, it deserves recognition not only as a high water mark of the Empire, but as a marvel of engineering in its own right.

Today’s military engineers receive their training largely through university degrees, often at military-focused schools such as Norwich University’s school of civil engineering. Not so the Roman military engineer, part of the legion’s immunes class. Raised from the munifex classes (rank and file soldiers), the engineers who built Rome’s far-flung network of roads, fortifications, and many of its more distant cities (a means to keep them busy and productive during times of peace) learned on the job.

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Ten American Universities That Have a Second Life

So I made a thing.

I am releasing this under Creative Commons. You can redistribute this anywhere you wish, so long as you do not alter it or change any associated formatting and give proper credit. This includes keeping the links to the mentioned programs included below!

Ten American Universities That have a Second Life


Creative Commons License

Ten American Universities That Have a Second Life by James Hinton is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

A Hedy Invention

Thank you to Grant over at Cheeky History for publishing me.

Cheeky Austrian Hedy Lamarr was a hit when MGM imported her iconic good looks and put them up on the silver screen. She starred as a seductive femme fatale alongside of actors like Clark Gable, James Stewart, and Spencer Tracy. Despite being tasked to sell war bonds, she made fourteen movies during WWII alone. What many people don’t realize is that movies aren’t the only things Lamarr made during WWII.

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